Myeloma Canada Patient Advisory Council
One of the major accomplishments of the PAC in 2016 was a national online survey conducted for myeloma patients and caregivers across Canada. The purpose was to gain insight from respondents on the programs and services currently offered by Myeloma Canada and provide suggestions for the future. We would like to thank the PAC for preparing this important survey, the Support Group Leaders for assisting with the distribution of the survey and the hundreds of patients and caregivers who responded with their valuable input.
The PAC also participated and assisted in the planning of several Myeloma Canada events including: the National Conference, Scientific Roundtable, Support Group Leader and Advocacy Summits, the Awareness Day, and the Family Medicine Forum. Most notably however, was the development of the Support Group Leader toolkit, which has been enthusiastically received by Support Group Leaders across the country.
The PAC members are as follows:
David McMullen, Interim Chair
David McMullen was appointed Interim Chair of the PAC, a position which he'll assume for about one year while a permanent Chair will be chosen. David has been a very dynamic contributor to various Myeloma Canada activities as well as several support groups. Interestingly, David was the inaugural Chair of the PAC when it was formed in 2014 and through until December 2016. Welcome back David!
David McConkey, Atlantic Canada Representative
David is the Support Group Leader with Myeloma NL. He is a person living with myeloma and committed to living life fully on Change Islands and in St John's Newfoundland & Labrador. David worked as a counsellor for over 30 years and was known as a long-distance runner. He is currently actively involved with aspects of family, community and the environment as well as artistic pursuits.
Deb McKnight, Ontario Representative
Deb lives in rural Ontario. After staying at home to raise her two children, she returned to school full-time, graduating from Sir Sanford Fleming College in Sporting Goods Business. She worked within the sporting goods industry for six years before changing careers to the insurance industry. During her 12 years
as a licensed insurance broker, she completed both CIP (Chartered Insurance Professional) and CPIB (Canadian Professional Insurance Broker) designations, while working full-time.
After a lengthy illness, Deb was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in December 2016, and had a stem cell transplant in June 2017. Having the good fortune to have achieved a complete response, Deb remains in good health.
Now retired, she enjoys life to the fullest. She loves travelling, taking Pilates & Yoga classes, reading, spending time with family & friends, and working with a local dog rescue organization. Deb and her toy poodle Coco also volunteer with Trent Hills Therapy Dogs, making weekly visits to the local hospital.
Glenn Hussey, Ontario Representative
Glenn, a Newfoundlander, studied at Memorial University before moving to Ottawa where he completed his studies at Carleton University.
He worked for the federal public service for 40 years focusing on policy, strategic planning and client service. Following Glenn’s retirement in 2015, he acted as a caregiver for his wife who was in complex, continuing care until her passing in 2017. Glenn discovered that he had the markers for multiple myeloma in 2008, but didn't require treatment until 2017.
Following back-to-back stem cell transplants in 2018, Glenn is currently medically stable. He is a writer, a fitness lover, and has been an active community volunteer for youth sports (soccer and figure skating).
Glenn continues to share his passion for soccer, especially Manchester United, with family and friends. He was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125 th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada for his contribution to his community.
Phil Harbridge, Western Canada Representative
Phil Harbridge is husband to Kay, father to Charissa and Nicolette, father-in-law to Austin and grandfather to Teal (born Feb. 11/20). He has worked extensively (39 years) with youth and young adults as; pastor, teacher, writer and professor. Currently Phil enjoys serving with Christian Journeys (helping schools, churches and community groups experience Lands of the Bible), Capernwray Bible School Thetis Island (teaching) and The Chapels Group (officiating weddings).
Phil was diagnosed in February 2019 and had his stem cell transplant in July. Phil’s response to treatment has been significant and he’s continuing to see positive results from the maintenance therapy.
He enjoys listening to peoples’ stories, running, cycling, swimming, tennis, sunshine, coffee and the Edmonton Oilers. Phil has been involved in several Myeloma Canada events (1st Place Team at 2019 Vancouver Multiple Myeloma March), conferences, webinars, and he’s an active member of the Surrey Support Group.
Susan McLean, Western Canada Representative
Susan is a retired high school English teacher who has studied at many universities: UBC, U of Ottawa, U of Saskatchewan, and McGill. She was also the president of the BC Teachers of
English Language Arts and worked with
the BC Ministry of Education to help write the new English curriculum. Living in Nanaimo, BC, she enjoys an active outdoor life, yoga, swimming, gym workouts, and playing in an ensemble at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren, travelling, and have lived in five different Canadian provinces!
Susan was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2016 and has been in remission for nearly two years. She is the co-support group leader for the Nanaimo Support Group, helped start the first Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma March, as well as the first Cinco de Mayo fundraising dinner.
Manon Veilleux, Quebec Representative
Born in Montreal and also living on Orleans Island near Quebec City, Manon started her studies in Business administration at HEC in Montreal and ended them in the Quebec region at Laval University, with a major in finance. She then chose to become a financial planner because she likes numbers, meeting people and accompanying them through their financial health.
Now retired, she finds it important to be engaged in the numerous activities of Myeloma Canada to help the people touched by multiple myeloma live better. This includes creating the Quebec Support Group, with the precious help of Julie Martel. It is also a sign of appreciation towards the engagement of the Myeloma Canada team for this cause.
She loves to learn new languages, because it allows her to discover a new world every time. Already bilingual since kindergarten, she added Spanish and Italian through the years. She loves reading, travelling with her husband Albert, and both are good walkers accomplishing weekly approximately twenty kilometres.